Oily skin is sort of like a summer epidemic. Dodge it with daily skincare strategies that ensure your face stays matte, no matter what
Skin feeling slick? Hot temps plus high humidity can lead to seriously oily skin. Luckily, the right products and techniques should course-correct you from super sweaty to subtly glowy. Tamp down unwanted summer shine with simple beauty tips and tricks that will leave your complexion looking (and feeling) fresh and clean, not oily and greasy.
Washing your face in the a.m. is the easiest way to set yourself up with a clean and fresh complexion for the rest of the day. Do double duty by using a product that also exfoliates, advises Mona Gohara, M.D., associate clinical professor of dermatology at Yale University. "Your skin naturally sheds dead cells while you sleep, so the morning is a great time to slough those off," she explains.
She recommends the non-drying Dove Gentle Exfoliating Beauty Bar ($5 for 4; target.com). Prefer a liquid cleanser? Choose one that contains salicylic acid, which prevents oily buildup from clogging your pores. Consider Renée Rouleau AHA/BHA Cleansing Gel ($35; reneerouleau.com). (Just make sure you're not making one of The 10 Most Common Face-Washing Mistakes.)
"If your skin doesn't feel dry, it's totally OK to forgo moisturizer in the morning," says Dr. Dendy Engelman of Manhattan Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery. Sun protection, on the other hand, is non-negotiable. To avoid a slick situation, opt for a mattifying sunscreen—we like the new Skinceuticals Physical Matte UV Defense SPF 50 ($34; skinceuticals.com)—or a lotion formula. "Lotions contain more water and less oil than cream sunscreens," points out Gohara.
Remember that reapplication is key; for that, a powder version will both shield skin from the rays and absorb excess oil. One to try: Colorescience Sunforgettable Mineral Sunscreen Brush SPF 50 ($64; colorescience.com). (Or, choose from 20 Sun Products to Help Protect Your Skin.)
A mattifying primer is a key tool in your arsenal against sheen. "It helps stop shine before it even starts," explains celebrity makeup artist Andrew Sotomayor. If you are prone to seriously slick skin, apply all over; otherwise, dot just along the T-zone, the area most likely to look greasy.
Try Becca Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector ($36; sephora.com). An added boon: Primer also ups the staying power of your makeup, decreasing the odds of meltdown later in the day. (Find the perfect formula for your face by checking 11 Primers with Purpose.)
When it comes to choosing complexion correctors that also help control shine, it's all about the formula. "A powder foundation is always going to look more matte than a liquid or cream," Sotomayor explains. His favorite? The non-chalky Clé De Peau Beaute Radiant Powder Foundation ($95; cledepeaubeaute.com). To score more coverage, apply with a sponge (use with a brush for touch-ups later in the day).
As far as concealer, summer is the time to switch to a waterproof version, like AmazingCosmetics AmazingConcealer ($42; amazingcosmetics.com). "Because these are made to resist excess moisture, they'll go on more evenly and last longer," he points out.
Combat any excess sheen the crops up midday with blotting papers. "You need to remove the moisture on your skin before reapplying any kind of makeup," says Sotomayor. "Otherwise, you'll end up with caking and creasing." Press them on any shiny spots, then gently lift off to remove just the oil, and not your makeup.
Try Shiseido Sebum & Oil Blotting Paper ($12; shiseido.com). If you need a little more coverage, reapply your powder foundation, or, if you just want to tamp down shine, dust on a translucent powder. Our pick: Urban Decay De-Slick Mattifying Powder ($32; sephora.com).
To thoroughly de-gunk your complexion before you hit the hay, Engelman suggests a two-step cleansing approach. Start with a wipe to remove makeup and superficial grime. Choose ones with witch hazel, she suggests. "It's proven to decrease oil production." Dickinson's Original Witch Hazel On-the-Go Refreshingly Clean Towelettes ($4; walmart.com) fit the bill.
Finish with a gentle cleanser, like Yes to Cucumbers Gentle Milk Cleanser ($9; yestocarrots.com), to remove any traces of leftover grease without stripping skin. (If your pores are still clogged, try using these Acne Strategies to Stop Post-Workout Breakouts.)
Not only does the powerhouse ingredient offer serious anti-aging benefits, it also reduces oil production and speeds cell turnover to fight breakouts, says Engelman. Try RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream ($19.99; target.com).
Follow with a lightweight moisturizer. It's a cruel paradox, but "if you get too dry, your oil glands go into overdrive and you can end up with even greasier skin and more breakouts," explains Gohara. A gel-based formula will feel cool and refreshing. Consider Belif The True Cream-Aqua Bomb ($38; sephora.com).
Along with these daily steps, a weekly mask offers an added shine-stopping boost. Look for one with the "it" ingredient of the moment, charcoal. "It pulls out any impurities—oil, pollutants—that build up in your pores, detoxifying your skin," says Gohara. One to try: Bioré Self Heating One Minute Mask ($4.54; walmart.com). (Pick the right formula for you before investing—check out The Best Face Masks for Every Skin Condition.)